Get an open or closed work permit and work legally in Canada.

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For Foreign workers

Live the Canadian work experience

In most cases, in order to work in Canada as a foreign worker, you must have already received a job offer from a Canadian employer to then be able to apply for a work permit. Usually, this process will require an LMIA from the employer. The requirements that the employee must comply with will depend on the job position and other factors.

Even though a job offer is necessary, some positions are LMIA exempt if they fall under one of the following categories:

  • Jobs included in an international trade accord such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): North America, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Korea, and The General Accord on Trades and Services.
  • Positions included in an agreement between the federal and provincial governments.
  • Positions very evidently required by Canada.
  • Intercompany Transferees.
  • Working Holiday Applicants.

As the work permit process varies depending on the applicant, the type of permit that can be applied for also depends on the situation of the candidate and their immigration status; for example if he/she has a conjugal/common-law partner or spouse working or living in Canada that would allow them to apply for an open work permit.

No matter which type of work permit that you apply for based on your situation, it is important to know that it’s just a temporary document that does have an expiry date. The good news is that in many cases, after working for a year in Canada, the work permit holder is able to apply for permanent residence and can enjoy most of the benefits of being a Canadian citizen. If this is not possible, there are usually options to renew the temporary work permit.

CLOSED WORK PERMIT

The closed work permit is only possible if your employer is willing and able to apply for an LMIA and you are the foreign candidate. The LMIA approval shows the government that your presence in the Canadian workforce is positive and necessary.

In addition to the approved LMIA, you will need supporting documents that prove your educational level and work experience as well as a detailed job offer letter from your potential employer. These supporting documents are needed to indicate that you are a worker qualified for the position.

The closed work permit will allow you to only work for the company that received the approved LMIA with your name attached to it. The job performed must be in the same position and performing the same tasks as outlined in the approved LMIA. If these requirements are not met, it can lead to the termination of the work permit and the company not being allowed to submit another LMIA application.

After working for one year as a foreign worker in Canada, it is usually possible to qualify for Canadian Permanent Residence depending on the Canadian job position worked and other qualifying factors. One year of non-stop full-time work with the same company in Canada is required to be eligible for various Canadian Permanent Residency streams.

OPEN WORK PERMIT

An open work permit grants you more freedom when working in Canada. Normally you can apply without a job offer as it is not a job specific work permit.

It can be regulated in one of two ways:

  • Unrestricted: allowing the foreign worker to work anywhere in Canada in any job position.
  • Restricted: restricting the job position and the place of employment.

However, only specific people can apply for it:

  • Spouses or common-law partners of foreign temporary workers on a work permit for a high-skilled position.
  • Spouses or common-law partners of foreign students.
  • International students who have graduated from a qualifying Canadian post-secondary institution.
  • If you have already submitted your permanent residence application and are at the stage where it is permitted to apply.
  • If you meet the LMIA exemption categories.

 

Open work permit expiry dates will vary on a case by case basis. For example, spouses of skilled temporary workers will receive an open work permit that will have the same expiry as the primary work permit holder. In other cases work permit renewals can be done for two-year periods and can be extended as many times as the program where the application was made through allows it.

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EXTEND YOUR WORK PERMIT

You can extend your work permit before your current status expires. In situations where your work permit renewal/extension is still in process when your present work permit expires, you will fall under a status called implied status; until your application comes back with a decision.
If you want to extend your closed work permit, your employer will also need to file a new LMIA, so that you need to take into consideration the processing times for the LMIA application as well. On the other hand, open work permits can generally be easier to extend as long as it is not for the spouse of a skilled worker.
For more information regarding your particular case, call us and we will indicate all of the options available to you.

FAQ

Not always. To apply without an LMIA you have these two options:

1. Apply for an open work permit if you are the spouse of a TFW in a high-skilled position, the spouse of a foreign student, if you have a permanent residence application in process, or if you have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution.

2. Apply for a work permit with a job offer that is classified as LMIA exempt through one of these programs: entrepreneurs and self-employed, intra-company transferees, French-speaking skilled workers, international trade agreements, or international youth exchange programs.

You will continue with the same legal status as the one that just expired while you wait for the outcome of the application that you have already submitted. This is called implied status. For example, you can still work in Canada if your work permit expires and you have applied for an extension before the expiry date. If you apply for the new permit after the expiry date, you do not have implied status.

Restoration of status means that you basically pay a fine to restore the legal status that you had. For example, if you had a work permit that has already expired, you will need to apply to restore your status (this can be done within 90 days of the expiry date) along with applying for the new document. However if your status is still valid, you just apply for an extension. Restoration is only applicable when the status that you had has expired.

Applying at the border always represents more risk so we typically advise our clients to apply online.

As part of our service, we will walk you through this process and send you the proper instructions on how to obtain the police certificates.

As part of our service, we will walk you through this process and send you the proper instructions on how to pay these fees. We give you the option to pay them yourself or include the fees in our service payments so that we can pay this on your behalf.

The sponsoree can work in Canada only if the spousal application is processed as an inside Canada application rather than outside Canada. When applying for the PR, the sponsoree can also apply for an open work permit, but not before the spouse sponsorship application is submitted.

CONTACT FORM

To find out if you meet the requirements of any Canadian program, you can complete the form below and/or return the in detailed questionnaire for a free assessment and a no obligation quote.

If you want to be contacted by phone, please indicate your availability: